golf = fail.

golf = fail.  who knew those two words could be used in the same sentence??  okay, maybe it's not quite a complete sentence, but it doesn't change the results.

remember all the rain i told you about here and here???  Well, two days after the rain stopped jim decided that he just could not go another weekend without golfing.  and since we had been wanting to take another trip to the whitsundays we decided to go golfing at one of the prestigious courses there called hamilton golf club.  it is on dent island.

was it a risky choice?  yes.  not only did it JUST get finished down pouring, but it's also one of the most expensive rounds of golf that we have played.  was it a smart choice?  i'll let you be the judge...

hole # 1:

you might be wondering why jim was holding an umbrella in this photo.  let's just say it wasn't to block the sun...

yup, it was actually STILL raining until hole 3ish.

then, around hole 5, it was done raining, but we ran into a little friend.  jim said i was making it hard to concentrate, but what was i supposed to do... it was a snake!!

around hole 7 we started getting some really nice views and the sun started coming out!  this was a nice distraction from the terrible golf that was being played.  

neither one of us were on our game, but considering the conditions of the course i am pretty sure this was expected.  you see, almost every time we hit a ball on the fairway a huge splash of mudwater got all over your clubs, shoes, clothes, FACE... it was a lovely time.  

this last picture was taken the hole before jim lost ALL of the golf balls in his bag.  that was a fun time that resulted in us turning around and heading for hamilton island to enjoy some pool side sun and refreshments.  

was it a smart decision?  i think the answer is obvious, don't you?


rain day... ???

the monday after our townsville trip that i just posted, jim and i tried to go to work only to learn that we had a rain day... not a snow day, but a rain day.  we couldn't get to the mine site because a couple of the creeks were flooded and the roads were closed.  

what was the source of the flooding, you might ask?

days of rain that looked like this...

blah, right??  

i have never seen anything like it.  it was LITERALLY non stop either steady or pouring buckets of rain.  

so, we spent monday just relaxing and hanging out, and we figured that tuesday would be much of the same since the rain still had not let up.   however; at around 11:00 we received a call that i was probably going to brisbane for some training and jim was to try to get to the mine by taking a different route.  

hours later, i was in brisbane and jim was back at our apartment because the driving conditions were not up to par.  

brisbane, my friends, IS AMAZING!  i loved it there... such a big city with lots to do and places to eat, shop and explore.  

oh, and jim got to join me on wednesday night since the rain continued to show no signs of stopping. 

we stayed in a pretty sweet hotel... everyone kept telling us it was the nicest hotel in the city and it did not disappoint.  here are a few pics of our room:

yup, the tv was welcoming me, personally.  i felt special.  

the majority of the trip was work related, but we made some time to eat at some cool restaurants by the river that runs through the city - VERY chicago-like.

this is chicken schnitzel - delicious!

and this was a sampler plate - we were at a bavarian brewery.  that square thing in the middle - pig belly!  never had it before.  tried it and will never have it again.  ha... it was good, but it was really fatty.  people here seem to LOVE it, though.

a few other things we did were run along the path by the river and just enjoyed the city together.  

we flew back to mackay on friday... thankfully the rain was gone!  hello, sun... sort of... more on that in the next post.  stay tuned...


townsville.... again!

what can we say?  we like townsville.... a lot!  so, not this past weekend, but the weekend prior we decided to drive up north, again.  we had different plans in mind than last trip.  this trip we wanted to enjoy what they call The Strand, which is basically a really cool beach that has little cafes, shops, activities all along the coast.

so, we started the weekend with a snorkeling adventure of sorts.  look at all the cool fish we saw!

and the most amazing of them all...

yes, that is a hammerhead shark! 

can you believe that we weren't even scared when we saw it?  i guess it kinda helps when you have glass in between you and said hammerhead shark.  

APRIL FOOLS (a little early)!!!  

the snorkeling adventure was actually the townsville aquarium, but we definitely felt like the great barrier reef could yield some similar results.... we shall see!

in all seriousness, we went to the aquarium because our sunny weekend in townsville turned out to be the beginning of an incredibly long spell of rain that i will blog about later this week.    

we did have a lot of fun during our indoor adventures, though.  here are a few more photos from the aquarium....


this was totally meant for kids... we all are kids at heart, though, right??

the rest of the weekend included way too much time at the casino (not even close to big wins this time), shopping and 21 jump street - great movie!  the part where they are forced to try the drugs from the dealer they are investigating is HILARIOUS!!!  

needless to say our weekend at the beach turned into a very expensive weekend away, but who's counting??


home away from home.

sorry it has been so long since i have posted.  fortunately, you haven't missed much.  as i mentioned at the end of my last post.... "jim may or may not have to work this weekend."  well, the verdict was.... he had to work.  bummer.

so, we canceled our plans and just took it easy in mackay.  that left us some time to finish up our DIY projects, though!  

here is the project i found on pinterest.  it involved the following supplies:

shower curtain of your choice
tape measure
staple gun
screw driver
picture hanging kit

after jim worked his handy man magic, our new wall art came out like this!

this project probably cost us $40 TOTAL for wall art that is HUGE!  I highly recommend it.  

we also bought a shelf for this little cove we have in our living area.  we are going to update it regularly of pictures of our adventures and little souvenirs that we are getting.  

little updates that are making our home away from home a little more... well, homey!  


laying low is.... goooood.

this past weekend was pretty low key.  we decided to just stay in mackay and do what the locals do.  no, really, we did some cleaning, decorating (which always includes shopping), golfing (of course) and a little of doing what the locals do.  

the decorating portion included a DIY project that i am excited to tell you about, but it's not quite done yet so stay tuned.  don't get too excited... it's just a little pinterest project, if you will.  

here are a couple of things to tide you over until, hopefully, a more exciting post next week.  

we checked out eimeo pub again, on saturday, before we went golfing.  i was happy to see it during the day this time since last time we were at eimeo pub it was dark and they are mostly known for the view.  check. it. out.

plus their food is GREAT, which is just an added bonus to the great atmosphere.

on sunday we went to a local resort in dolphin heads, which is an area about 20 minutes from us.  they open the resort to the public on sundays so you can lounge by the pool and listen to some live music.  that's my kind of sunday!

just a few other random photos for you.  we ran into some of jim's distant relatives... peter and trudy.  they sell furniture and electrical??  we told them they should really change the sign to say electronics instead.  that's when they became jim's even more distant relatives.

just kidding, we didn't meet peter and trudy, but thought this was pretty ironic being that we are halfway around the world from the original mckeans.... or are we?

speaking of being half way around the world... budweiser... IMPORTED??  just weird.

anyway, we have a few adventures planned for this weekend, but they may or may not happen since jim may or may not have to work, but stay tuned! 

love and miss you all!


it's like going to chicago... sort of.

first, i have to apologize for the delay in updates.  i started my first week of work on monday and it has included 12 hour work days, hitting the gym, eating dinner, showering, sleeping and getting up to do it all over again the next day.  if you know me at all you know that, after several days of sleeping in, getting up at 4:50am calls for a lot of coffee for an operational sarah.  you would also know that 12 hour work days are not part of my "work-life balance" attitude that i maintain.  more on the work situation later, but i'll leave you, for now, with, it's going really well!

this past weekend jim and i went to townsville, which is a larger city than mackay about 4.5 hours north of mackay.  kind of like going from st. louis to chicago!  jim got home from work on friday and we hit the road.

the drive was an experience in itself.  imagine two lane roads in the middle of no where, a gas station about every 30 miles and literally NO streetlights or even moonlight since it was a cloudy night.  BUT, we made it!  safe and sound.... unfortunately, australia is down one dingo.  yes, it was a sad moment, but life had to go on (for two of the three of us, at least).

which is a perfect segue into our next adventure... magnetic island.  magnetic island is a 30 minute ferry ride (with our vehicle) from the pier in townsville 2 minutes from our hotel.  very convenient if you ask me, and if you talk to any of the australian natives about townsville you won't end the conversation without them marveling about how cool magnetic island is and how you MUST see it!  well, okay then!

the first thing we did was take a 40 minute hike on a trail where we were supposed to be able to see koalas... did we see any?  no... boo!

BUT, we signed up for a sure way to see some koalas along with other australian animals.  did i say see?  i meant HOLD!

first up!  a 6 month old salt water crocodile named barbie.  i think my heart was pounding out of my chest, but holding this little princess was really quite cool!

this is barbie's mama.... just kidding, i don't know who's mom she is, but she was quite large; and, no, we did not hold her.

next up was one of the coolest things EVER and the best part of this island.  we got to hold madelyn, the baby koala.  she was absolutely precious!  AND, magnetic island is somehow exempt from the rest of australia where you are very limited as to where you can actually hold the koalas so it was pretty neat.  

isn't she just the sweetest? can i have one???  please?  no?  okay.

moving along... 

next up, we got to see, not hold, a hairy nosed wombat - henry's the name!  henry wasn't feeling very social on that day, but that just meant we got to go into his cage to take pictures of him hiding in his hallowed out log.  henry is an endangered species that can only be found in australia so he was pretty cool even if he was hiding from us.  ready for some cuteness?

heeeeeeeeeeere's HENRY!

ain't he cute?

okay, onto some not so cute animals.  

just seeing sampson made me want to RUN avert my eyes.  i am sure you can tell from the obvious alliteration that sampson is a snake.  to be more specific, a python.  again, if you know me at all, you know that my heart was pounding even though i KNEW i would NOT, under any circumstances, hold samspon.  i give the tour guide props, though, as she said all the right things that would make one be not so afraid of snakes (they are misunderstood, they have no interest in eating you, etc.) so in the end i compromised....... with a fingertip!

jim was a trooper, though!

then we moved onto the somewhat boring lizards and turtles... even though the tour guide thought differently (i could see a spark in her eyes when she got to this part).   i could see her getting annoyed when i was paying more attention to the baby wallaby that was in the same living quarters.  scooter. was. CUTE!!

here's a picture so you get an idea of scooter's size.

oh, and here are the lizards and turtles...

okaaaay, they were pretty cool.  

anyway, that concludes our australian animal tour.  this was so worth the trip to magnetic island... it was like an adult's petting zoo! 

afterwards, we went snorkeling in florence bay, which is where several people said the snorkeling was the best.  it was okay.  i am still waiting for that crystal clear water with lots of colorful fish.  this is pretty much what we saw underwater - there are two fish in this picture if you look hard - finding nemo!

but above water was a different story... STUNNING!

that night, we ate at a restaurant called jamaica joes located on the strand, which is basically the city's coastal line with a lot of restaurants, activities and a great walking path.  we definitely want to go back to spend more time here.  

both friday and saturday evening we spent some time at one of the only 13 casinos in all of australia.  no, we could not pass it up... AND i came out $101 richer!  nothing wrong with that.  we had some really close calls on some huge wins, which made the night particularly painful fun!  we played carribean stud... for those of you who know the game.  for those of you who don't, its basically five card stud; your hand against the dealer's. however, there is also a progressive jackpot, which was just short of $170,000.  in order to win the pot you have to have a royal flush.  jim was ONE card (the 10 of spades) off from getting this!  you can also win 10% ($17,000) of the progressive pot if you are dealt a straight flush.  i was ONE card short of that!!!  see how painful fun that is??  ha ha.... in all seriousness, we had a BLAST as usual.  

we left on sunday, but not before playing a round of golf.  for those of you who know jim, this will not come as a surprise. jim loves golf.  fueling that fire, the second i hit my first ball off the tee a couple of weekends ago, a monster was created.  apparently, jim loving golf AND jim loving sarah means jim LOVE LOVE LOVES golfing with sarah.  and we will probably be playing every weekend from here on out.  fortunately, i am enjoying the sport and we are really enjoying playing together so all is good in the hood.  

that's a wrap!  from here we grabbed lunch and headed home.  oh yea!  and i saw my first kangaroo on the side of the road.  

okay, okay.... it was another wallaby, but either way i was PUMPED!